On the evening of Thursday 16th May 2013 Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated Pragna Puram, the campus of the Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat (KCG). In a comprehensive speech, Shri Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of research, innovation and education and described Pragna Puram as an effort to further light the lamp of education in the lives of the people. Shri Modi pointed that Pragna Puram is an endeavour to merge the various streams of knowledge and add life into them. He also urged the people to support the effort made by the Government. Shri Modi declared that there is no bigger investment than spending on education and spending on educators because this is what creates generations.
Shri Modi pointed out that a nation like China has the barrier of language, which our youth does not. At the same time our youth has made a mark in the IT field yet, in computer engineering education the Chinese are ahead of us. Likewise, he shared that while five Chinese universities rank among the top universities of the world, there is not a single Indian university in this list and these are challenges for us. Shri Modi stated that India is the world’s most youthful nation and this is a demographic dividend but while China created 13 crore jobs in the last decade, India could not even create a few lakh jobs from 2004-2009. He affirmed that Gujarat made an effort but overall, if the numbers between India and China are compared there is a vast difference. At the same time, he said that along with tapping the demographic dividend of the youth, we should harness the longevity dividend, which is the experience of our senior citizens.
In his speech, the Chief Minister elaborated on the efforts of the Gujarat Government such as Gujarat Technology University, Innovation Commission and iCreate. “We have the ability to give to the world. The world is talking about a global village right now but our forefathers gave the Mantra of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is a family),” he said. Shri Modi also affirmed that there cannot be any barrier to knowledge nor can it be classified as being from east or west. “Let knowledge come from everywhere. Under what flag it originated, that cannot be a prism for measuring it,” opined Shri Modi.
Shri Modi spoke about the importance of asking questions. He said that if there are no questions, how could one be inspired to see, hear and learn things? He declared, “We are from the land of Nachiketa, who even had the courage to question Yamraj on what is death!”
The Chief Minister brought out the time-tested link between our civilization and knowledge creation. He shared that Vallabhi in Gujarat was a very renowned university, which drew students from across the world. He also stated that years of slavery brought about a decline, which was left unchecked in the last 60 years since we attained Independence. Shri Modi added that there is a vacuum of 60 years and a lots remains to be done.
On the role of technology in our lives, Shri Modi said that it was increasing but at the same time we have to ask ourselves if we want to create robots or human beings. He added that while technology is important, there must be equal focus on the human angle, including art, literature, humour and emotions etc. Shri Modi spoke about the drawbacks of seeing everything only from an economic prism. He shared that God has given each human the inbuilt quality to rise but if society cannot help, then it becomes a burden.
Earlier, Education Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama spoke on the occasion. He spoke about the strides made by Gujarat in the field of education. Revenue Minister Smt. Anandiben Patel and Minister of State for Education Smt. Vasuben Trivedi were also present.